Prenatal Care Ensures the Health of Both Mom and Baby
It doesn’t matter if you’re a first-time mom or having your third baby, prenatal care – regular checkups and health screenings – are the cornerstone of a healthy pregnancy, labor and delivery. I know this both as a physician and as the mother of four healthy children.
Prenatal exams allow a doctor to monitor the growth and health of the unborn baby. And equally important, prenatal checks provide an opportunity to monitor the health of the mother, including early detection of health issues that could potentially affect both mom and baby.
Your initial visit with me.
When you come in for your first appointment, you’ll meet me as well as the office and clinical staff. I think it’s essential for my patients to get acquainted with the people who’ll be supporting them for the next nine months.
Next, I’ll ask about both you and your partner’s health history. Specifically, I want to know about risks or certain conditions that run in your families. It’s also important to let me know if you’ve had a previous preterm baby, miscarriage, stillbirth, or had an infant who died from sudden infant death syndrome.
I’ll then perform a physical and pelvic exam. Lab work will be completed. Depending on the results of each, we may or may not need to discuss potential concerns. I’ll also date your pregnancy. It’s helpful for me to know the date of your last menstrual period.
Finally, we’ll discuss proper nutrition, exercise and prenatal vitamins, to name just a few things. I encourage all moms to make a list of questions to bring with them to their prenatal appointments. This is an exciting time, and it’s often easy to forget things.
Prenatal care continues throughout your entire pregnancy.
On average, prenatal care consists of about 10 visits. It’s important to note that this schedule may vary depending on your particular situation. It’s crucial not to skip appointments. Studies have shown moms who don’t get regular prenatal care are three times more likely to have low birth weight babies.
Here’s the typical prenatal schedule:
- Weeks four through 28: prenatal visit once a month
- Weeks 28-36: one prenatal visit every two weeks
- Weeks 37-40: one prenatal visit every week
I’m with you every step of the way.
As your pregnancy progresses, I’ll begin to record the baby’s growth, listen to its heartbeat and track movements. Depending on your situation, I may recommend additional prenatal screening and tests, in addition to regular physical exams, including blood tests, genetic tests and ultrasounds. Finally, throughout your pregnancy, we’ll discuss a variety of topics including breastfeeding, birthing options and more.
I truly consider my patients to be an extended part of my family. It’s an honor being entrusted to help them start a family of their own.
Learn more or make an appointment today with her office by calling 812-537-9100.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
Provided by: Natalie Adams, D.O., OB/GYN
To learn more, contact her office at 812-537-9100.